How is it possible that five Buckeye football players are once again in trouble for receiving improper benefits? How is it possible that two of these players, DeVier Posey and Daniel Herron, are still on suspension also for receiving improper benefits? Are these two players that stupid, or are they so beholden to the notion of being a gifted athlete, having been placed very high on a pedestal their entire lives by an adoring American public and felt entitled to all that is given them? How is it possible that Ohio State has an athletic compliance department whose duty is making sure no athlete is found guilty of violating N.C.A.A. rules all the while so many football players are getting in trouble that you need a scorecard to keep track of all the violations and suspensions?
Tuesday morning, Dispatch sports columnist Bob Hunter had an article entitled “Sorry, OSU, but things have gotten out of hand,” in which he quoted Director of Athletics Gene Smith as saying, “These failures are individual failures…So it’s not a systemic failure of compliance.” In Wednesday’s paper, an article above the fold on the front page contained the headline “SYSTEM IS NOT BROKE, GEE SAYS.” Below a photo of the president was his quote “We are the poster child for compliance.” I know President Gee has a long history of saying something ridiculous regarding the football program, but this might be his most preposterous. In the accompanying article, Gee commented that the latest violations are not part of a larger, systemic problem and is quoted as saying OSU is “blessed to have an extraordinarily talented athletic director who has proven his mettle through an extraordinarily tough time.”
Cleaning house of all parties responsible for allowing this disgusting scenario to unfold in the national media is the only solution to restoring any sense of dignity to Ohio State’s once proud football program. These five players involved in this latest round of receiving improper benefits should be dismissed from the team and expelled from the university immediately. Furthermore, since Coach Jim Tressel has been fired for covering up the initial rules violations and is no longer around in which to place blame, Gene Smith and the entire athletic compliance department should be fired immediately as well. If President Gee doesn’t have big enough cajones to take drastic measures regarding the athletic department, then he must go as well.
The past year has been an embarrassment and a disgrace to The Ohio State University, its alumni and fans and the state of Ohio. Drastic changes must be made immediately.
Steven H. Spring
OSU, Class of ’87